Panther 35th Anniversary-It's About Time
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BLACK PANTHER PARTY 35th YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Reunion and Conference - Oct. 11-14, 2001
University of the District of Columbia
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded in October 1966 and was
a vital and influential organization in the Black Liberation Struggle. The
Party's Survival Programs were models for work that is still needed in poor
and oppressed communities today and included Breakfast for Schoolchildren,
Busing to Prisons, Free Medical Clinics, Food Giveaways and Sickle Cell
Unlike other Civil Rights organizations, the Black Panther Party (BPP)
additionally insisted upon the right of all people to defend themselves from
racist attack. Police violence in the community spurred the Panthers' police
patrols as well as efforts to gain political control of police activities
through community control initiatives.
J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and other police agencies set out to destroy the BPP
which was deemed to be the "number one security threat to the United
States." Over a period of five years, there were over 1800 arrests of BPP
members, many on trumped up charges. There were 30 murders of BPP members by
police and their agents. Many people were exiled, destroying their families.
The FBI program used to "neutralize" party members - COINTELPRO - authorized
illegal acts and false charges, including direct armed assaults on BPP
offices and homes. Although portrayed as violent and dangerous, the real
threat was the Party's dedication to political education and study. Panthers
not only carried guns, they also carried books and studied ideology as well
as health, nutrition and law as part of "serving the people."
The demise of the BPP left many casualties in its wake; most notably the
many political prisoners who have yet to find justice. The continuing
incarceration of Herman Bell, Jalil Bottom, Eddie Conway, Romaine Chip
Fitzgerald and many others is one reason why it is important that we come
together on this anniversary for a working conference to plan strategies and
consolidate forces to win their release. Many former Black Panther Party
members and supporters continue to work for social justice in their
respective communities. It is our responsibility to define and transmit our
legacy to the comrades of the future.
The It's About Time Committee, based in Sacramento,CA, is comprised of
former members of the Black Panther Party and its supporters. The committee
publishes a quarterly newsletter that is available on line at
It's About Time is sponsoring the upcoming Black Panther Party 35th Year
Anniversary and Conference to be held Oct. 11-14, 2001 at the University of
the District of Columbia in Washington DC. The conference will feature
workshops on BPP history, organizing techniques - especially for youth,
police brutality, the death penalty, reparations, women in the struggle,
revolutionary art, the need for solidarity in the struggle and others.
There will be a panel discussions on reparations and political prisoners.
There will be hearings on COINTELPRO with testimony from victims which will
focus on strategies to win freedom for those political prisoners and exiles
whose cases were tainted by illegal COINTELPRO activities. Several members
of the Congressional Black Caucus have been invited to hear this testimony
as part of ongoing investigations. There will also be ongoing film showings,
photo, art and historical memorabilia displays.
It's About Time calls on all former BPP members, community workers and all
progressive people to come together for this historic event. We especially
encourage young people and students to attend the conference to learn
organizing techniques and to network with each other to organize around
issues that impact them directly.
Anyone interested in participating in the youth program can contact Ameejill
Whitlock at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 410-815-2298. For regular updates
on the conference program and to access a registration form, please visit our
website: itsabouttimebpp.com or write to It's About Time, PO Box 221100,
Sacramento, CA 95822. Phone 916-455-0908, e-mail: email@example.com
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!
The program for the 35th Year BPP Reunion and Conference is continuing to
- David Dubois, professor at U. Mass at Amherst and former editor of the
Black Panther Party newspaper, has agreed to participate in the panel on
- Bobby Seale, co-founder and former Chairman of the BPP, will be
conducting a workshop on grassroots organizing in the high-tech era.
- Several Congresspeople, including Bob Rush, Cynthia McKinney, Barbara
Lee, Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson Jr., have been personally invited to
sit on the panel for the Tribunal on Cointelpro. A major feature of the
conference, there will be hearings with testimony from Cointelpro victims
which hopefully will be used in the ongoing Congressional investigation.
We encourage everyone to send in your registrations as soon as possible as
funds are needed to continue the organizing process for a conference this
size. Any former Black Panther Party members, NCCF members or community
workers who are not on our mailing list, please send us your address and
other contact information so we can keep you informed.
Anyone who would like more info or registration materials can
write or call, or visit our website at:
Ads for the program are being sold to offset printing costs. The fees are:
$200 for a full 8-1/2 X 11 page, $100 for A half page, $50 for a quarter page
and $25 for a business card size ad. Individuals will be listed as donors
for $15 and families for $25.
Make checks payable to: It's About Time
Mail to: It's About Time
PO Box 221100
Sacramento, CA 95822.
Ads should be camera-ready; they will appear as they are presented,
and materials submitted will not be returned.
The deadline is Sept. 15, 2001.
Get Involved - take out ad for your Union or organization!
It's About Time is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Tax-deductible donations
to support the conference, the newsletter or Books Behind Bars, a program
that sends books and other reading materials to prisoners around the
country, can be sent to the above address.
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